SELF-STUDY METHODNov 21, 2022
The goal of your GMAT preparation is to get better and faster. These are conflicting goals. How can you make sure you achieve both by self-study? The key point is finding a balance. You can train this by doing timed sets, blind reviews and analysing your data. Let’s dive deeper into all three.
First, timed sets. A timed set is a set of mixed questions which you have to complete within a certain amount of time. In the Bootcamp we work with sets of 15 questions, which you have to complete within 30 minutes. You should track your time spent per question, by using the lap time function on your phone.
When you finish a set, it’s very important to not check the answers. This will lead to false confidence and superficial understanding. Instead, you do a blind review. Without looking at your previous solutions, you do the same set again, this time without time constraint. Ask yourself: do I still agree with my approach? Is there more than one way to solve the problem? What is the fastest way? Finding your own answers and turning questions inside out will lead to a deeper understanding. You will learn to see the logical structures behind the questions.
Tracking and analysing your data
The last step is tracking and analysing your data. Write down your timed answer, review answer and the correct answer in an excel sheet. Also note the time spent on the timed answer. Analyse your performance and take notes: did you rush on a problem that you should have been able to solve? Were you able to let go of problems that are too difficult to you? What kind of mistakes are you still making?
Analysing your data will help you to get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths are questions that you know you can solve quickly and correctly. You have to make sure you score points on your strengths. Your weaknesses are questions that take a long time or that you often answer incorrectly. You should avoid spending too much time on your weaknesses. Instead, switch to a plan B strategy or use a freebie.
The data will also provide you with a study strategy. It will establish the points of focus that you still need to work on and the theory you should repeat.
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